It happens to the best of us – we’ve been working hard, committed to eating right and exercising, and then one day, we just don’t feel like it anymore. Maybe we’ve reached a weight loss goal, or completed an event we were training for, and now we just don’t have the drive to keep it up. Or maybe we just aren’t seeing results fast enough. Maybe we’ve lost our confidence, and feel overwhelmed. Whatever the reason for losing our motivation, we KNOW how much better we will feel if we just get back to it, but we just can’t seem to jump back in. Where did that initial feeling of excitement go? We’ve lost our groove. What can we do to regain that motivation to be our best?
Write things down What was your initial reason for starting your new healthy lifestyle? One of the most important things you can do is journal. It’s a great tool for seeing results when you don’t feel like you are getting any. It will also help on days when your motivation is just not there. You can look back and read the excitement you had at the beginning, and see how much you’ve accomplished!
If you have not written down any goals you want to achieve yet, take advantage of writing things down when you feel like you’re losing motivation. Include the results you will see when you reach that goal – like smaller clothing size, more energy, better health, etc. Revisit these goals when you are feeling down, and get excited about reaching them all over again.
Write down your plan of action for reaching these goals too. Example: I will go for a walk 3 days this week. I will replace soda with water, etc. Go back and check things off once you’ve completed them. This will help keep you accountable in reaching your goals.
Set rewards If your motivation is gone, try rewarding yourself when you accomplish milestones along the way. Thinking of new rewards and working to achieve them will help you get excited about meeting those milestones. However, never use food as a reward. That will simply counteract your work, and give you a false relationship with food. Get creative with your rewards!
Set short-term goals that you can reward frequently, so that you are constantly getting results. Example: I will go all week without fast food. Once I go all week without fast food, I will go to a movie with friends (minus the popcorn!). Or buy some new workout music!
Also set longer-term goals that you can reward greatly to help keep you going all the time. Example: I want to lose 25 pounds. Once I lose 25 pounds, I will buy 3 new outfits. Or go on a weekend trip!
One tip I read recently was to start a “health savings”. Put back a small amount for each goal you achieve, and then once you reach a long-term goal, you will have money saved up for a fun reward! Example if you are trying to lose weight: put back $1-$5 for every pound lost. Once you reach one of your milestones, use that money to get a massage or have a night out with friends, etc.
Accountability Another resource you have to getting and keeping your motivation is accountability. A personal trainer or health coach are great to help keep you on track. They are great tools for those of us that need that extra push! It does cost money to get this form of motivation, but sometimes it takes us using our money for us to be truly committed. If we are willing to spend our hard earned money on something, then it will be important to us to stick with it!
Use the like-minded people around you! Have a partner or a group that is all trying to reach the same type of goals you are. Pick a designated time to get together – either over the phone, or in person to workout, to plan meals, or just to talk each week. Knowing you have those people around for support and accountability will help motivate you to do what you say you are going to do!
We all lose our motivation at times, but if we all work hard using the tips above, we CAN get our groove back!